Further Into the Depths of Satan
...in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia

by Mary Van Nattan

Dionysus, Bacchus, Silenus and the Maenads

As if what we have already been over is not enough, we find what a gross pagan Lewis really was when we notice that he portrayed Dionysus (Bacchus), Silenus and the Maenads as good characters in his stories!

First, let's find out exactly what this pagan deity and his followers are.

In the Encyclopedia Britannica (1963 and 1974 editions) Dionysus is described "in Greek cult and mythology, a nature god of fruitfulness and vegetation, but tending to specialize as a god of wine...The alternative names Bacchus (Bacchos...); Sabazuis and Bassareus are Thracian."  He was also called Bromios.

He is believed to have been introduced to Greece from Thrace and Phyrgia. While in Greece the orgiastic worship of him was toned down, "In his native country his worshippers sought to become possessed by or assimilated to him by wild dancing and the tearing in pieces and eating of animals..." The victims of this carnage may have originally been human.

The female attendants of Dionysus were known as the Maenads. Many women were attracted to him and took to the hills wearing faun skins and crowns of ivy.  The ivy wreath itself being one of his personal attributes. (Remember the ivy wreaths around the tops of the mazers of wine in Prince Caspian.) Their ritual cry was "Euoi!" They danced by torchlight to the flute and kettledrum and used wine freely. While under the god's power (really devils) they supposedly possessed occult powers, could charm snakes, suckle animals, and were given super strength to tear their living victims in pieces before devouring them raw. In Greece a dancing circle surrounded his altar. Through this complete, unconditional surrender to the devils in this orgy, they believed they could cross over into the eternal, spiritual realm.

The phallus was a prominent symbol in Dionysus' rituals and was carried in processions in his honor. One of the oldest known prayer-hymns is one used by the followers of Dionysus and is addressed to the genitals.[1] His followers included fertility spirits, such as satyrs.

He was said to have the "gift" of prophecy and was given a position at that wretched shrine of Delphi only slightly lower than that of Apollo. He often took animal forms and, interestingly enough, was associated with the lion, among others.

Silenus in mythology was the son of Hermes or Pan (Satan).  He was said to be a nymph and was the companion and nurse of Dionysus.  Which gives room for speculation regarding sodomy since Hermes was associated with such.

Silenus was often depicted in the Bacchus' train in art and was generally shown as "a little pot-bellied old man with snub nose and bald head, riding on an ass and supported by satyrs..." (Quite appropriately, there is a statue of him carrying an infant Dionysus in the Vatican.) In the plural they were said to be the same as satyrs, but older, wiser and drunker.  They were characterized as prophets and expert musicians.

Now, having laid all this disgusting filth out, let's take a look at how C.S. Lewis protrayes them in his Chronicles of Narnia for kids to read!

In Prince Caspian Lewis opens to us his true heart:  (The quotes are somewhat long in order to show the context as Lewis has it.)

p. 152 - "The crowd and the dance round Aslan (for it had become a dance once more) grew so thick and rapid that Lucy was confused.  She never saw where certain other people came from who were soon capering among the trees.  One was a youth, dressed only in a fawn-skin, with vine-leaves wreathed in his curly hair. His face would have bee almost too pretty for a boy's, if it had not looked so extremely wild.  You felt, as Edmund said when he saw him a few days later, 'There's a chap who might do anything --- absolutely anything.'  He seemed to have a great many names --- Bromios, Bassareus, and the Ram, were three of them. There were a lot of girls with him, as wild as he. There was even, unexpectedly, someone on a donkey.  And everybody was laughing: and everybody was shouting out, "Euan, euan, eu-oi-oi-oi."  [Emphasis added.]

Note the wild dance, the extremely wild faced youth that is Bromios (otherwise known and Dionysus or Bacchus), the wild girls (Maenads), the man on the donkey (Silenus) who is also said to cry "Refreshments!" (which in the context of Dionysus would be wine), and the cries of "Euoi!".  What Lewis is describing here is nothing other than a Bacchanalian orgy!

Notice also that Lucy is confused.  Lewis gives himself away on this one.   1Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Again --

p. 154 - "One saw sticky and stained fingers everywhere, and, though mouths were full the laughter never ceased nor the yodeling cries of Euan, euan, eu-oi-oi-oi-oi, till all of a sudden everyone felt at the same moment that the game (whatever it was), and the feast, ought to be over, and everyone flopped down breathless on the ground and turned his face to Aslan to hear what he would sat next.
     "At that moment the sun was just rising and Lucy remembered something and whispered to Susan,
     " 'I say, Su, I know who they are."
     " 'Who?' "
     " 'The boy with the wild face is Bacchus and the old one on the donkey is Silenus.  Don't you remember Mr. Tumnus telling us about them long ago?' "
     " 'Yes, of course.  But I say Lu ----' "
     " 'What?' "
     " 'I wouldn't have felt very safe with Bacchus and all his wild girls if we'd met them without Aslan.'"
     " 'I should think not,' Said Lucy."   [Emphasis added.]

Again, all the sign posts are in place and Lewis even puts the event at sunrise!

Continuing --

p. 192 - "Bacchus and the Maenads --- his fierce, madcap girls --- and Silenus, were still with them. Lucy, fully rested, jumped up. Everyone was awake, everyone was laughing, flutes were playing, cymbals clashing. Animals, not Talking Animals, were crowding in upon them from every direction.
     " 'What is it, Aslan?' said Lucy, her eyes dancing and her feet wanting to dance.
     " 'Come, children," said he.  'Ride on my back again to-day.' "
     " 'Oh lovely!' cried Lucy, and both girls climbed on to the warm golden back as they had done no-one knew how many years before. Then the whole party moved off --- Aslan leading. Bacchus and his Maenads leaping, rushing and turning somersaults, the beasts frisking round them, and Silenus and his donkey bringing up the rear." [Emphasis added.]

Now, note here that Lewis actually names the Maenads and describes them as "fierce".  To complete the description of this devil worship for your children to mimic in their play, he adds the flutes and cymbals, and animals are brought in, though their fate at the hands of the Maenads is carefully excluded.

He also describes them going down a hill into town where they found a girls' school.  The girls were dressed in ugly tight collars, thick stockings and tight hair-dos.  The teacher and class all fled in terror except one girl. Aslan called her "sweetheart" and asked her to join his wild crowd, which she did.  She was instantly dancing with the Maenads who helped her take off some of her "unnecessary" and uncomfortable clothes!

So, Lewis is telling your children that in order to be part of this wild bunch (which he portrays as fun), they must join in the dancing and take off some of their clothes!  

This sounds remarkably similar to one of the accounts in the Bible -- the occasion on which Aaron made the golden calf and Israel worshipped it with a wild feast and dancing party. When Moses got back down the mountain, he confronted Aaron and received a stupid excuse. Then we read, Exodus 32:25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me.

And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. From this account we can see that the LORD does not look lightly on this sort of thing.  Allowing C.S. Lewis to teach your children such heathenism is perilous to say the least!

The most revolting thing, which has been evident right along, is stated plainly in the quote on p. 192. Aslan is leading!  Now, if Aslan is supposedly the Lord Jesus Christ, as many assure us and as Lewis himself allowed, then what we find here is the grossest blasphemy!!  This is then supposedly Jesus Christ leading a Satanic orgy of Bacchus!! This is sick beyond description!! 

We have already determined that the real identity of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia is actually the sun god, but Lewis allowed and promoted the notion that this was an allegory of Biblical truth and that Aslan was indeed a picture of Christ Jesus - God in the flesh.  Therefore, it is all the same as if he had written such filth about the Lord of glory in the first place!   Deuteronomy 32:41 If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.   Amen!!  Selah!!

One last interesting point here is that in The Last Battle on page 170 Lewis has Digory saying, "It's all in Plato, all in Plato." Now, Lewis calls Plato "an overwhelming theological genius" (Reflections on the Psalms, p. 80), which any discerning Christian familiar with Plato's works would take strong exception to. Plato was a pagan, Greek philosopher and his followers called Dionysus "Our Master". So, we see that C.S. Lewis gave credit to a Dionysus-worshipper as having written long before Christ was even born all the things that he, Lewis, put in his book! This is a real admition of guilt, and fits perfectly with Lewis' belief that Christ fulfilled paganism (Reflections on the Psalms, p. 129).  Lewis has showed us plainly who his master really is, and it is not the Lord Jesus Christ!

There are references to Bacchus and the myths and practices surrounding the worship of him elsewhere in The Chronicles of Narnia, but we will move on to the next quote, which also appears in Prince Caspian, and brings us over into the subject of witchcraft.

Witchcraft Practices and Characters

1 The American College Dictionary; under "prayer"

NARNIA and Satanism

In Disney's Fantasia, the Sorcerer's name is Yensid, which is "Disney" spelled backward.